Silicone mat for soldering

The hot-air soldering station is already almost standard equipment in the electronics workshop. To use it safely, the environment must be well protected from high temperature air. One such protection is a silicone mat recently bought by me.

Parameters

The mat has a size of 280 mm x 200 mm and is about 5 mm thick. The mat is flexible. It is blue in colour. Its resistance to temperature according to the seller is 500 °C.
I bought it at a Chinese auction portal for about $3.5.

Pros

  • Protection of the table surface against high temperatures.
  • Protection of the table against soiling with liquid flux during soldering.
  • No smoke or smell is emitted from it during soldering.
  • Easy to wash.
  • Order on the table when dismantling the device, thanks to the recesses in the mat.
  • The mat can be rolled up and hidden.
  • Handy size mat.
  • There’s no smell.

Cons

  • While heating the PCB on the mat with warm air, the mat has bulged in this place. When it cooled down, the mat returned to its original shape.

Summary

Despite the bulging of the mat during soldering, I am very happy with it. It protects the table from heat. While soldering with hot air( 360 °C ) I put an A4 sheet under the mat. After soldering, there was not a single discolouration on the card. So the mat protects the table from heat. Additionally, it makes it easier to keep order during work.

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